Barnes and Sons Rodeo Company from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, has been family owned and operated for over 40 years. Starting in the 1960s on the Barnes Ranch, Thelbert and Wanda Barnes began the journey when they decided to buy some bulls for their three sons, Wayne, James and Ray, to sharpen their bull- riding skills, and always had horses on the ranch for the two girls, Ronda and Donna, to ride and train. Sons and daughters grew up competing and have been honored and privileged to be a part of the “rodeo life.”

As the family grew, so did the productions. From the junior ranks, to open rodeos, to many years of producing sanctioned rodeos. Barnes and Sons Rodeo Co. has been awarded a multitude of awards over the year, in- cluding awards for timed event cattle, broncs, bare- back horses, and bulls. They have been voted “Stock Con- tractor of the Year” 18 times by the American Cowboys Rodeo Association.

The rodeo company, which has included a crew of family and good friends who have become “family,” has had the privilege of traveling across the country producing rodeos and continuing the legacy that their parents started. Over this nearly half of a century they have been blessed in becoming like family to many of the rodeo committees who host the rodeos in these towns.

“Of all the towns and committees we have made such connections with – Tarkio, Missouri is definitely at the top!” said Wayne Barnes. “Since our first year to come to Tarkio in 2006 we have been graciously treated like family. The entire crew has always looked forward to ‘loading up for the Tarkio trip’ – filling every seat in every truck, and then some.

“As life makes brings change to this journey with the Barnes and Sons Rodeo Co. and all of our rodeo fam- ily, we plan to continue our relationships that God has blessed us with. We want to say to Tarkio and all who have made this journey so unforgettable – thanks for the ride!”